OU softball: Sooners return to the 'Promised Land'

Speaking about what it means to be back at the Women’s College World Series, OU slugger Lauren Chamberlain looked down at her arm and laughed. “I’m getting goosebumps,” she said. “I’m really excited to be back. It’s cool. It’s just a special place.”
by Scott Wright Published: May 27, 2014
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photo - Oklahoma's Javen Henson, facing, celebrates her home run with another home run hitter, Lauren Chamberlain as the University of Oklahoma Sooner (OU) softball team plays Tennessee in game three of the NCAA super regional at Marita Hynes Field on May 25, 2014 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Javen Henson, facing, celebrates her home run with another home run hitter, Lauren Chamberlain as the University of Oklahoma Sooner (OU) softball team plays Tennessee in game three of the NCAA super regional at Marita Hynes Field on May 25, 2014 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

She turned to Kelsey Stevens, a sophomore transfer from Stanford, who had made 21 starts with a 2.99 earned-run average for the Cardinal last season.

In early March, the centerpiece of the OU lineup went down with an injury. Chamberlain, a junior who is 18 home runs shy of the NCAA career record of 90, missed nearly seven weeks in the heart of the regular season.

But Chamberlain and the Sooners kept their eyes on the ultimate goal, not letting their obstacles distract them from what they were trying to build toward.

Exactly when they need it, the Sooners are playing like a national title contender again. Though they had some struggles in the regional tournament, they came through unbeaten. Tennessee, with one of the nation’s best offenses, pushed OU to the brink in the best-of-3 super regional, but there was no doubt the Sooners were the better team that weekend.

Now, that No. 23 ranking has become a distant memory.

“We knew (early in the season) that we had work to do,” Chamberlain said. “We set our minds to it that we weren’t going to fall out of the top 25, and that we were going to make a stand at the end of the season. And I think you’re seeing that right now.”

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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